There was an error in this gadget

Sunday, May 22, 2005


There's a lot of tickles in this house, Claire being the queen at getting Nadia to laugh.

Claire. This picture says it all if you were wondering what kind of kid Claire is...what a goof!

The reason we got the wonderful product that prevents children from pressing buttons on the tv. Nadia usually smiles when you tell her no.

Desperation

I am taking this opportunity to do a little writing while I have the chance. Claire is watching Finding Nemo, and Nadia and Dion are sleeping. Now is the time.

Ummmm...let's see....my echocardiogram came back fine. My mole biopsy results are not in yet, hopefully I will get a letter in a week or so saying nothing was found.

I had my first treatment of Herceptin. It was an hour and a half long iv, and I felt fine through it, and in fact felt fine for about 5 hours. Then it hit. Have you ever had the kind of flu where your WHOLE body feels like it was run over by a car or 20? I got desperate to get rid of the pain. I lied on the couch moaning, wondering how it was possible that I had pain everywhere...and when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. Think think think....YES! I still had meds from when I did chemo! I tackled the stairs, baby steps, one at a time, looking a lot like an elderly person. This is where being a packrat, a saver of all things ("I might need this someday") is a blessing. What wasn't a blessing was the damn plastic/foil packaging in which the pill was trapped. There it was, taunting me, so close, yet so far. I found a pair of nail clippers and clipped my way into the package. Ah! Salvation! I gobbled the pill down and made my way back downstairs.

As most of you know, I tend to be a little impatient. A little. Just a tiny bit. "Son of a!" That was really all I said, the kids were around. A new journey was at hand, not upstairs again, but to the main floor bath, where I have my GOOD meds, a pharmacy of leftover narcotics. REAL salvation. Darvocet. Two of them. Not only is that a good pain killer, but they are hot pink in color. Pretty. I made my way back to the couch (again) and layed down. Dion looked over at me and asked the following question, "Is it ok to mix Kytril and Darvocet?" To which I responded with....."I don't care. But if anything happens, I took one Kytril and two Darvocets." And I fell asleep. Nothing happened, so I guess it was ok. All that was left of the pain when I woke up was a headache, which I could handle, life was good again. Until two days later when I paid the price for taking a narcotic. Let's just say that I popped a blood vessel in my eye, and leave it at that. So that was my Herceptin adventure. My oncologist called and asked how it went. I told him a shorter version of the above story and he said "Wow! It will be better the next time. I promise, or you can kick me." I told him I wrote down the time and day that he said that and he quickly added, "You can only kick me in the leg!" I better go practice kicking things to warm up, just in case. We'll see on Tuesday.

So my veins are crappy. When I did chemo I had a port which is this plastic thing with a catheter. It kind of looks like a little stethoscope. It is placed under the skin, and the catheter is put directly into a large vein that goes into your heart. It is supposed to make things easier for chemo, blood draws, etc. I hated mine. In fact, it was removed as soon as I could get out. I was a little persistent about getting it out ("I want it out NOW!") with my surgeon, and she took it out. So I tell her about my new 48 week long adventure with Herceptin, and she said "Boy, I sure am glad you wanted that port out so fast." Well, crap. Didn't that just bite me in the butt? So, this coming Thursday it's back to the operating room (the COLD, FREEZING, you'd-think-they-didn't-pay-the-heating-bill operating room) to get another port put back in my Frankenboob body. Never a dull moment.

So that's that. I will go looking for some pictures of the girls to post. I am amazed everyday at them. From Claire being able to put a 12 piece puzzle together, to Nadia running through the house. I love it! I am blessed. I am loved.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Everything Old is New Again

I'm not really sure why I put that as my title for this entry, but it seems to be kind of fitting. I had my visit with my oncologist on Tuesday. We sat for about an hour and a half while he patiently answered all of the questions on my list. Not once did I feel like I was asking a dumb question, not once did I feel rushed, not once did I feel like I was unimportant. I like my doctor a lot. He's a little goofy and makes us laugh, he talks about his family, asks about ours every time we see him, he's proactive, calming, yet he takes care of things. But I digress...

My blood work came back fine and my chest x-ray was a big fat negative. Woo hoo! Couldn't ask for anything more! But the fact remains that my legs are still hurting. Now that we have eliminated cancer, my appointment for the Rheumotologist has been moved up to next Wednesday. So, speaking of Wednesday....

We talked to my doctor about Herceptin, the cancer drug. Actually, he waited until all of my questions were answered, and said "To not do Herceptin is not an option." Hmmm. Well, yes, of course I have the option to not do anything, but what he told us was based on the study, the size of my tumor, and the fact that I am her2 positive, it would be wise to do the treatment. And, like every other choice I have made in this walk with cancer, I will do whatever I have to do to cut my chances of this beast coming back. I've had body parts removed, poison pumped through my veins, radiation shot at my chest, shut down my ovaries, and am taking a pill for 5 years. So what's one more thing? Well, he said it will be more of an inconvenience than anything, and he was not lying. I will be going to Mayo (one hour each way) every Tuesday (except for next week. Since I already have an appointment Wed, I will get my 1st treatment that day too.)for 48 weeks to get an hour of treatment through an iv. Yuck. We all know how well I deal with needles. So that's that. Although Herceptin is not a chemo, I will be going to the chemo room to get it, thus, everything old is new again. Ha! I made it work. But I will be cutting my chance of recurrence IN HALF! Crazy! What a HUGE breakthrough in cancer! So here's what next week looks like...

Nothing on Monday or Tuesday----whoopee!
Wed: Mayo. All the live long day.
8:45--Rheumotologist
10:25--dermatologist (found a funny looking mole my onc wants checked)
2:00--Echocardiogram (Herceptin can be hard on the heart, have to make sure mine
is working well enough for treatment)
3:00--First Herceptin treatment

Thursday: Go to the Plastic Surgeon to have my boobies checked

Friday: Of all things, I have to go to Rochester (that's where Mayo is too) for a
mini conference.

Then I go back to work the following Monday, and pretty soon my summer program starts, if it ever gets warm or stops raining. It is 37 degrees outside right now, and it's just pouring! I was thinking about going to the store, but.....brrr!

So there you have it. I will see my doctor again at the end of the month to see how I am handling Herceptin. He said that most people do fine with it, I won't lose my hair again (thank you God), and that usually the first treatment is the worst. Keep your fingers crossed.....or as Claire would say, "Keep your bing-gers crossed!" We are having issues with the letter "f". She likes to tickle Nadia's "beet", she likes Nemo because he's a "bish" (which sounds a little naughty if you say it fast) and so forth.

Just when I thought I was done with this stuff, I am starting a treatment that takes almost a year to complete. But one has to keep the big picture in mind. 48 weeks is not a lot of time to devote to living a long long life. So, here we go, off to the next big adventure.....hold on tight!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The 12 Months of Cancer--An Ode to My Breast Cancer

(Sung to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas, but the events may not have actually happened on that corresponding month, but the incident numbers match up....cut me a break here)

In the 1st month of cancer my doctor gave to me, a happy colonoscopy

In the 2nd month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 3rd month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 4th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 5th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, fiiiiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 6th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, six different fluid drains, fiiiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 7th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, seven study injections, six different fluid drains, fiiiiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 8th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, eight different body scans, seven study injections, six different fluid drains, fiiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 9th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, nine tumor marker tests, eight different body scans, seven study injections, six different fluid drains, fiiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 10th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, ten different prescriptions, nine tumor marker tests, eight different body scans, seven study injections, six different fluid drains, fiiiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 11th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, eleven hundred blood draws (ok, that might be slightly high, but it felt like 1100!), ten different prescriptions, nine tumor marker tests, eight different body scans, seven study injections, six different fluid drains, fiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy.

In the 12th month of cancer, my doctor gave to me, twelve weeks of chemo, eleven hundred blood draws, ten different prescriptions, nine tumor markers, eight different body scans, seven study injections, six different fluid drains, fiiiiive weeks of radiation, four painful mammos, three chemo nurses, two brand new boobies, and a happy colonoscopy!



So there you go. Print this up and take it carolling for the next holiday season. Make them sing along, it'll be fun!

Friday, May 06, 2005


Claire finally smiled when I asked to see her teeth.

Nadia looks like she got into the booze, but I swear, we only let her drink from the bottle (and a sippy cup).

Next Week

I don't know how they did it, but I am going in next Monday for blood work and a chest x-ray, and on Tuesday I am meeting with my oncologist, and on the 27th I will be seeing the Rheumologist. Phew! Somehow, a rather slow month has yet again turned into a busy one. I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon on the 19th, I have a meeting in Rochester for work on the 20th, I technically go back to work on the 23rd, and on the 31st I get my study shot in Rochester. Ugh. I am tired just thinking about this month.

But, I am asking that again you keep us in your prayers for next week, that all my tests come back great so we can have a wonderful summer. This time last year I was bald and doing chemo, and really couldn't enjoy the summer a lot. I am already a step ahead this summer just by having hair. As far as being tired, well, that goes up and down. I think a lot depends on what is happening in my life, and of course the wear and tear a two and a half year old and a one year old does to a person. Ohhh.....but I love it!

Ok, I will search for some more pictures to post, just because. Later.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Don't let Claire fool you. She probably pushed Nadia down right after this was taken. Sometimes Claire gives Nadia the slightest nudge with her hip as she walks by. You have to watch this girl....

Ok, seriously. Look at how different their skin tones are....guess who Claire takes after?!?

Oh my gosh! I miss picking her up soooo much! Except for poopy diaper changes. I don't miss those.

Go go go go go go go go go go

What a day! I looked at the clock and saw that I have about 10 minutes before the girls come home from daycare, and I have a local cancer walk meeting tonight at 6:00, and I spent WAY too much money at Wal-Mart today. But, if you have the chance you should go see the breast cancer shirts they have, some are pretty cool. Yes, I bought one, but don't tell.

I did a lot of grocery shopping today. I swear I had 10 things on my list and I had to make at least 6 trips out to the van to bring it all in, not including the two cases of soda which I will let my dear sweet husband bring in. I just got too tired. Anyway, so frozen pizza was on the list. I bought four of them thinking, that's a good amount, right? WRONG! So there I was, at 2:00 PM preheating the oven to cook a pizza that wouldn't fit into the freezer. Man! I wasn't even hungry, and not really in the mood for pizza, but what do you do?!? Well, you eat it , of course. Ok, I actually had 2 pieces, and now I have to go find room in the fridge for the leftovers. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. With that in mind, I will find some pictures of the girls to post. I have 6 minutes before the quietness ends....